Posted on May 13, 2022

She Said Yes! Patient Proposed to at Mary Free Bed While Awaiting Transplant

Her journey involves seven different hospitals, weeks in the ICU on ECMO, and now rehabilitation while waiting for a double lung transplant – but Kaitlyn Sterling is still all smiles. And she has a big reason to smile. Stan, her boyfriend of 5 years, just proposed. And Kaitlin said, “Yes!” 

Click through to see photos of the engagement. Watch the proposal in the video below.

Kaitlyn, 25, is from Hubbell, Michigan. She had always been the picture of health and wellness. She enjoyed yoga, teaching at Keweenaw jiu-jitsu and hiking in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Kaitlyn got her bachelor’s in environment engineering at Michigan Tech and was working in design engineering. Late last year, all of that suddenly changed.

In November 2021, Kaitlyn started feeling ill and visited urgent care. With alarmingly low oxygen levels, she was routed straight to the ER. For weeks she fought for survival in the ICU on life support at the hospital.  

She was eventually diagnosed with, antisynthetase syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder. The disorder, combined with extended time in the hospital, caused so much damage to her lungs, that she is now on the waitlist for a double lung transplant. 

Kaitlyn transferred to Mary Free Bed in April where she is receiving intensive rehabilitation therapy and care. She’s still using a ventilator to assist with her breathing, but she’s regaining strength and function. She’s even back to walking unassisted.  

Throughout all this, her family and her boyfriend Stan Myaskovskiy, have been by her side. Yesterday though, Stan went from ‘boyfriend’ to ‘fiancé.’ 

Still on the ventilator, with the help of her Mary Free Bed respiratory therapists and nurses, Kaitlin took a walk Thursday night with Stan through the hospital’s outdoor walking path.  

Beneath the springtime blossoms, Stan got down on one knee to propose. Kaitlyn said, “Yes,” and accepted the engagement ring, that was appropriately engraved with the phrase, Together in the Storm. 

“You mean the absolute world to me,” Stan told Kaitlyn. “And whatever hardships are ahead of us, and whatever good times are ahead of us, I’m fully committed to you.” 

As they wait for what’s next – the upcoming double lung transplant – they will have each other, and a future wedding to plan. 

Here’s the video of the proposal